Famous natives such as former President Bill Clinton, Walmart magnate Sam Walton and singers Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell, have all made their mark on America with a flair and style that you will find nowhere else but in Arkansas! The state also offers splendid scenery like the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas Timberlands and Ouachita Mountains. Nicknamed the Natural State, Arkansas has some of the highest-rated rivers for fishing in the US, with many of them tributaries of the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers.
- Summers are hot and humid, so if you choose to move during the warmer months, bring plenty of water and protect your skin from the sun.
- Winters in the southern regions are filled with icy rain and sleet that can make driving, as well as carrying moving boxes, hazardous. Try to plan your move during warmer months.
- Tornadoes are especially prevalent in spring and summer but can hit all year round. Listen to local channels when driving so you always hear weather alerts.
- You do not need a moving permit in Arkansas. However, a number of cities are busy year round. College towns, such as Fayetteville and Jonesboro, are busiest in fall and spring when students are moving in and out. Check with your city to find out if any parking restrictions apply before moving to Arkansas.
- Arkansas hosts a number of festivals and events that attract visitors from around the country, so check your city’s calendar before planning your move.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Arkansas easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cities and Metro Areas
Arkansas’ modern-day society is as diverse as its economy. Millennials enjoy living in the downtown districts of big cities, and Arkansas has several large communities that are thriving with action. The state capital, Little Rock, serves a hub for business and culture, while the northwestern corner of Arkansas houses cities like Fayetteville, Bentonville, Springdale and Rogers. Other popular cities in Arkansas with good livability assets include Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Jacksonville, Jonesboro and Pine Bluff.
Cost of Living
According to the 2014 US Census, the average household income in this state is $41,264, which is lower than most other states. However, the average cost of living in Arkansas is more than 10% percent lower than the US average and can reach up to 25 percent lower in cities such as Pine Bluff. The low cost of living in Arkansas is due in part to its abundance of agricultural products. The state’s rich soil is responsible for cultivating cotton, wood, rice and soybeans, while cattle and poultry farming allow consumers in Arkansas to avoid having to pay additional costs for transportation and import taxes.
While the housing market nationwide has been making the headlines as property prices reached new heights in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arkansas housing market is one of the few that remains relatively affordable despite significant growth. Like most other states, Arkansas home prices have been consistently climbing since the Great Depression, and the past two years have been marked by accelerated growth. Nevertheless, the median Arkansas home still remains well below the national average, making the Southern state one of the few places where buying is more affordable than renting.
According to data collected in October 2022, the latest available at the time of writing, the median Arkansas sale price has climbed to $251,800, still showing a double-digit growth at 12.4% compared to its October 2021 level.
Arkansas summers are very humid, especially at lower elevations. Average temperatures in these regions reach 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Heavy rainfall can lead to flooded roads and cut-off bridges, so be prepared when driving. Winters tend to be dryer and colder with averages between 32 and 51 degrees Fahrenheit. The mountains in the north see significant snowfall, while areas south of Little Rock get storms with icy rain that can make for hazardous driving conditions.
When moving to Arkansas, beware of tornadoes. Though these mainly hit during spring and summer, they can occur year-round.
It is good to know that there are a number of quality schools available to families and students moving to Arkansas. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Arkansas.
These are some of the state’s most notable schools:
Top-Ranked Elementary Schools in Arkansas
- Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Mount Pleasant
- Park Magnet School in Hot Springs
- Forest Park Elementary School
Top-Ranked High Schools in Arkansas
- Haas Hall Academy in Farmington
- Bentonville High School in Bentonville
- Valley View High School in Jonesboro
Universities in Arkansas
- Arkansas State University
- Henderson State University
- Philander Smith College
The Arkansas State Government’s website provides information about a wide range of topics, including:
- Arkansas doesn’t have an excise tax, but will levy a 6 percent sales tax on any untaxed new vehicle you bring into the state.
- There are no toll roads in the state—one of the many reasons for moving to Arkansas!
- You can register to vote when you apply for an Arkansas driver’s license, or with your county clerk, State Revenue Office, public library, disability agency, public assistance agency, Arkansas National Guard or military recruitment office. You can also apply by mail by sending in a voter registration form after moving to Arkansas.
- Trash and recycling services are regulated by each city individually. Contact your municipality for information on waste management.
- Driver’s Licenses & Vehicle Registration: You must apply for an Arkansas driver’s license and register your vehicle within 30 days of moving to Arkansas. You will have to pay a fee to register a vehicle, and that fee varies depending on its year. Fees for a title are $10 without a lien recording and $10.75 with a lien recording.
- The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department website provides updates on road conditions such as flooded roads and bridges.